A semester of awards continued for EMU runners Isaac Alderfer (Broadway, Va./Broadway) and Alijah Johnson (Upper Marlboro, Md./Frederick Douglass), as both earned some heavy medals from the Old Dominion Athletic Conference today.
The league office announced its awards from the outdoor track & field season, and Alderfer was a highlight. The junior was voted as both the Track Athlete of the Meet from the recent ODAC Championships as well as the ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete for men’s track & field.
Additionally, Alderfer was also All-ODAC First Team in the 1500m and All-ODAC Second Team in the 800m.
Johnson claimed All-ODAC First Team honors from the 200m, matching his award from the indoor season.
After winning ODAC Athlete of the Week honors seven times between this year’s indoor and outdoor seasons, Alderfer responded to the expectations at the ODAC Championships, breaking a meet record in the 1500m by more than five seconds. His time of 3:51.02 was also two seconds faster than the silver medalist at the meet. Then in the 800m, Alderfer led during the final lap before getting passed on the final stretch, earning second place with a time of 1:53.10. He was just 0.06 seconds from the win.
His Athlete of the Meet honor was EMU’s first since hurdler Connor Faint shared the award in 2018.
Alderfer was also voted the Scholar-Athlete on the men’s side, carrying a 3.97 GPA as an environmental science major at Eastern Mennonite. He has simply dominated most of his races this year, breaking all four of EMU’s indoor and outdoor middle distance program records as well as the ODAC Record in the mile. Outside of running, Alderfer conducts biology research on campus, is a barista for EMU’s Common Grounds coffeehouse, completed a photography project on owl banding and is part of a handful of sustainability-minded groups through EMU.
Tyler Denlinger was EMU’s most recent track Scholar-Athlete honoree, winning his two awards in 2016 and 2017.
Johnson has been just as impressive in the sprints for the Royals. He exploded in the finals of the 200m at the ODAC Championships two weeks ago, clearing the field by more than half a second with his 21.45, as well as breaking a seven-year-old ODAC Championships record. His win earned him the All-ODAC First Team status.
With less than two weeks remaining of last chance meets, Johnson remains No. 5 in the nation in the 200m, as well as No. 45 in the 400m. Alderfer is also No. 5 nationally in the 1500m, while sitting No. 21 in the 800m.
Both hope to be in the top-17 at season’s end to qualify for the NCAA National Championships, which will be May 27-29.